Five Ways To Improve Your Prayer Life

Starting a prayer life was the best decision I have ever made. Eighteen years ago, I turned away from a miserable life of addiction. Actually, after years of struggling and being unable to quit, I walked away from all of my addictions, and there were several, in one day.

However, there was a build-up to that moment when I dropped that 12-pack of beer out of my moving car window (sorry, Dawsonville Police Department and anyone who had to deal with that mess). I was able to arrive at that moment when I not only turned away from drinking but also from drugs and other nefarious behaviors because months earlier, I began to turn toward God in prayer.

Technically, I turned toward Him a year earlier after a powerful experience while driving home from work. However, that experience, while it led me further down the road to God in my journey, only set me up to believe in God. I still did not have a connection with Him. For several months, I held a shallow faith in God, which felt good, but it did not inspire any changes in my sad, addicted life.

After enrolling in my third attempt at college, I found myself surrounded by people of faith and was inspired to pray. I cannot remember the very first attempt at praying. Still, I do remember various moments through that third freshman year in which God showed up for me in prayer. He showed me a few things:

  1. He is better than anything on this earth, including any drug-induced experience.
  2. I belong to Him, and He is my Father.
  3. My future is not bleak but always filled with hope.
  4. Prayer is not just about me talking, but listening to God as well (He truly gives us something to listen to!)

These early days of prayer were filled with warmth and pleasant experiences with God, which made it easier to pray, but I have had moments where I needed to force myself to pray as well. I believe that it is probably those moments of prayer that are most holy in God’s eyes, when there was no consolation, when I was crying out to God in desperation, and I felt nothing other than the strain in my neck as I looked hopefully to heaven.

Like King David in the Psalms, my prayer life has encompassed all the emotions a human can experience, and each of these prayers has been pleasing to God. I look back with gratitude and joy at all of these moments in my prayer life, as you might fondly remember experiences you have had with a good friend who has been with you through the many ups and downs of life.

I reflect on my life, which has included a lot of prayer these past 18 years, and understand that worship makes my life much better. I don’t even want to imagine what my life would have been like without this precious gift. With that in mind, I am sharing five ways to improve your prayer life. I have used all of them over the years, and you can start using them right now.

1. Make God your best friend.

This might seem juvenile, but truly, approaching your relationship with God in this way improves your prayers. You experience a deeper intimacy with God, are able to relate to Him more profoundly, and are reminded to go to Him more.

2. Have moments of quiet reflection throughout your day.

As I noted earlier, prayer is not only about you saying things to God; you can listen or even sit with Him as you stay aware of His presence. This is my favorite way to pray, and I recommend you set aside a few moments daily to do this. It can be three to five minutes that you sit in awe of the truth that God is with you “right now” at the moment, or you ask what He wants you to know, and you can pay attention to Him.

3. Make acts of faith.

As often as you can or think necessary, make an “Act of Faith”. This is simply a short prayer where you showcase your faith in God. Something like, “I believe in you, Lord, that you have power in my life, you love me unconditionally, and your mercy is without end. I believe you are guiding me to a beautiful future and will stay with me through every difficulty and discouragement. I love you, Lord. Amen.”

This activates your faith in a unique way as the words you speak put into action the faith you are confessing. This shows God that you believe the words you pray enough to say them to Him, which has tremendous implications. This slightly differs from showcasing your faith through prayer in that you are telling God about your faith, which communicates your faith more directly and powerfully.

4. Sing your prayers.

Similar to making an act of faith, which can be done in song, singing your prayers activates your faith and truly grants God permission to work in your life. Furthermore, if you enjoy singing, it is a fun way to connect with God. It allows you to express your emotions more powerfully.

5. Use your imagination.

God has given you the imagination, not simply to play pretend as a kid. He wants you to use it for prayer as well. Do this by picturing yourself in the moments of Scripture that you read to think more deeply about them. Furthermore, use your imagination to think about Jesus being present to you in memories, the present, or future moments. Your imagination is an excellent tool for prayer that is accessible to you at any moment.

If you would like more help in improving your prayer life, we can help! We are now offering our 1:1 Mentorship service and our 20-week online course, Unlocked. More details at Mentorship and Courses.

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